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Sunset photo on Tuck Drive

At Dartmouth, students are admitted into the college without an official major, also known as undeclared; thus, this means that we can take classes in any department after any prerequisites are met! It's very encouraged that first year students spend their three terms taking classes across a variety of disciplines as part of embracing the liberal arts curriculum.

Starting from our fifth term, which is sophomore winter, students can declare a major. Nonetheless, it doesn't mean you have to stick with it; some students will drop their major, modify, or make it a minor instead depending on personal preference in each student's academic journey. This past winter, I met with my faculty advisor in the history department to talk about planning a history major, and an overview of the history major such as its senior seminars, the geographical distributions, and the chronological pre-modern and modern courses in order to complete the major. The history department has a major, modified major, and minor planning worksheets, which are very helpful for organizing and planning anticipated courses over the next few terms. Additionally, the department also plans their course offerings two years in advance, so I was able to look over the course schedule for classes I plan to take from now all the way to when I graduate in spring 2026. 

After I filled out the major worksheet, I logged into my DartWorks (academic portal) to create a major academic plan, where I input all the classes I've taken applicable to my major, and anticipated classes for my major requirements. Using the major plan, we submit this into the DartWorks Dashboard, which is where we formally submit the major plan for approval. 

Shortly after submitting, I received an email from the department administrator letting me know it has been approved! I was also notified to start emailing the professors I intended on taking my senior seminars with as enrollments are capped at 12 students; senior seminars serve as culminating experiences with intense reading, research, and writing on the seminar topic, so some seminars are in higher demands than others, which is why we are encouraged to start contacting professors earlier to be placed on their enrollment list. 

And with that, I am officially a history major! Stay tuned for a future blog on my government minor, and how my Foreign Study Program in the Baltic countries contribute to my minor. 

Dartworks major declaration portal
Dartworks major declaration portal

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